Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Q&A Part Ten

Steve asks: if such an anthology were to happen, something for comics comparable to the Norton Anthology of British Literature, what are five works (short stories obviously, or excerpts even though I hate when excerpts get put in anthologies) that you think would HAVE to be included, and why?

Holy shit, I don't know. If there's one thing I know it's that I'm not NEARLY well read enough to answer this question in an intelligent way. But, I'll give it a go.

The biggest problem I see here is debating whether or not 22-page stories can be included, which I think is a must, simply because it has been the standard size of comic issues for the past few decades, so I'm going to make my choices with a limit of 22 pages, but only in the case of single issues. No 22-page excerpts from longer works.

As well, I'm going to limit my choices to what I've actually read. I mean, obviously you'd include some of Will Eisner's Spirit work, but since I haven't read any, I'm not going to include it. So, my choices will probably skew toward the recent and the superhero.

1. The last part of Codeflesh. My own personal pet favourite, I'll admit, but still worth inclusion, because Casey and Adlard do some very interesting and original things in the final chapter of that story.

2. Issue four of Watchmen. Of all of the issues, this is the most self-contained one, in my opinion, making it the best choice (if you were to take an issue from Watchmen). It happens early on enough in the series that while it advances the plot, it's separate. As well, the way Moore and Gibbons play around with time is quite interesting and worth looking at.

3. One of the chapters from Sin City: The Hard Goodbye. I don't have my copy here in Windsor, but great visuals, interesting use of narration and nice, short chapters.

4. That famous Crumb-drawn American Splendor comic that I can't remember the title of. You know the one.

5. And, fuck it, Marvel Boy #4, because I think it's plays around with panels and art a lot, plus for all of the various reasons I love the series. (Although, you know that if I was teaching a class on comics, this series would be on the course near the end.)

Steve: What is the one comic that you think is absolutely brilliant, but no one else seems to notice and why? (For example, my weird obsession with calling Codeflesh insanely fabulous, when about fifty people seem to have read it and remembered it.)